Officials are pausing plans to build a new residence hall on 20th and H streets in favor of expediting renovations to GW’s largest freshman housing option, according to a University release Tuesday.
The University is accelerating the timeline for interior upgrades to Thurston Hall and plans to open the updated building for students as early as 2021 but no later than fall 2022. The overhaul will put a temporary hold on previously announced plans to debut a 10-story building that would house 320 underclassmen by 2022, according to the release.
Officials are currently soliciting design proposals from architecture firms to renovate Thurston to include more community spaces and updated rooms and amenities. The University plans to partner with a firm by the spring and offer renovation plans to the Board of Trustees in May, according to the release.
“This accelerated timeline allows us to significantly improve a defining part of the first-year student experience sooner than previously planned,” University President Thomas LeBlanc said in the release. “Thurston should be reflective of a preeminent institution, and we have a vision for a dynamic, inclusive community that helps students feel at home at GW.”
Students currently living in Thurston Hall will not be impacted by the renovation schedule, the release states.
The University announced plans to renovate Thurston last year after setting aside $100 million to upgrade the building and construct a new residence hall. Administrators teamed up with outside consultants in 2017 to devise a plan to renovate Thurston, which has often been criticized for issues like mold and dysfunctional elevators.